Can nutrition rating systems be used in supermarkets to encourage healthier spending habits?
A new study by Cornell University researchers sought to answer that very question by tracking the purchasing records in a supermarket chain that uses the Guiding Stars System to rate the nutritional value of foods for sale.
The researchers, including Cornell Food and Brand Lab's David Just, PhD, and Brian Wansink PhD, author of Slim by Design (forthcoming), studied the sales records of over 150 Hannaford Supermarkets in the Northeastern United States between January 2005 and December 2007.
They collected data from over 60,000 Guiding Star rated food items. The Guiding Stars System brands items with zero, one, two or three star rating (with three stars being the most nutritious).
The amount of beneficial ingredients, such as vitamins and whole grains, are taken into account along with the amount of innutritious ingredients such as trans-fat or added sugars, both of which affect the nutritional rating of that item.
Researchers found that sales of less healthy foods – such as highly processed snack foods – fell by 8.31% when branded with a nutrition rating while the percentage of healthy food purchases rose by 1.39%.
The authors also noticed that the use of the Guiding Stars system led to an overall decline in supermarket sales. However, this is mainly due to the reduced amount of purchased "junk food."
According to lead author John Cawley, PhD, the decline in the sales of the less healthy foods was "perhaps the leading catalyst for the trend toward more nutritious food purchases." Previous studies may have not noticed this trend because they focused only on sales of foods with higher nutrition ratings.
Researchers concluded that nutrition rating systems, such as the Guiding Star system, may be worthwhile as they seem to lead consumers to purchase less "junk food" in favor of healthier options.
Sandra Cuellar | Eurek Alert!
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction